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School board sets goals

by Merrie Leininger

The Douglas County School board discussed goals for the upcoming year at a Tuesday night meeting at Kingsbury Middle School.

Some of those administrators who will be helping the board meet its goals are unknown, however, as Carson Valley Middle School has a gaping hole in the staff with the loss of both vice principals and the principal.

However, C.C. Meneley got off to a great start with new Vice Principal Chris Perdomo and Whittell High School is again home to Howard Bennett, who was just named principal, causing one of the vacancies at CVMS.

Bennett, along with Pam Calhoun, was a vice principal of CVMS for the past three years. Calhoun recently resigned her position to become principal of Virginia City High School in Storey County.

Bennett taught at Whittell for 24 years before going to CVMS, and told the board he is happy to be home.

Superintendent Pendery Clark said she was pleased with the appointment.

“He has a long history at Whittell and is well-known by parents and the community and he cares a lot about the community and is committed to addressing some of the issues at Whittell,” she said. “I cannot imagine a better person to do the job.”

Board member George Echan, who represents the Lake, told Bennett, “I’m just delighted. It’s a great honor to have you back.”

On the other side, board members Michele Lewis and Cheri Johnson, whose children attend CVMS, said he will be sorely missed there.

“The students here are so lucky. One of the last things my son said at the end of the year was, ‘I can’t believe I’m leaving Mr. Bennett behind,'” Lewis said.

Larry Snyder, who was principal of the school for the past two years, will be teaching physical education at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School next year.

Vice Principal Pam Calhoun, who was just named Nevada Vice Principal of the Year, will now be closer to home in her new position. Calhoun’s family lives in Reno. She was chosen to replace former Douglas High School teacher and Whittell graduate, Todd Cutler, after Cutler left to take a position in Fernley.

“It’s an opportunity to be a principal in a smaller school. It was really hard to leave. I couldn’t have learned how to be a principal in a better place. I will miss the kids and the parents,” she said.

Principal Roger Gerson left the state to become the principal of a charter school in Arizona.

Assistant Superintendent of Personnel John Soderman said he plans to have every position filled by the time school starts.

“The principal interviews are scheduled for all day Aug. 6 and vice principals interviews are scheduled for Aug. 19,” he said. “It’s scheduled that way so the vice principals will be hired by the principal since they will be working together.”

Soderman said there is a nation-wide shortage of administrative applicants that Douglas County is also experiencing.

C.C. Meneley Elementary School Principal Brian Fraizer has welcomed a new vice principal, Chris Perdomo.

“She brings a wealth of experience and proven leadership at the elementary level,” he said. “She is super energetic and has great ideas.”

Perdomo had worked in Carson City schools. She has been working at Meneley for almost a month now.

n Goals. The board identified about three new goals for the next year.

Board member Don Forrester said he thinks the district needs to examine hiring strategies and create in-house support for teachers working toward becoming administrators.

“We need to look at changing the approach to finding site administrators and encourage teachers and help them with their training so they have a track record with us instead of going outside and encourage those people who are already working toward it,”he said.

The rest of the board and Soderman said it was definitely a goal of his office and he had been looking into ways of doing that.

Board member Echan suggested addressing many community groups so more people will understand where the district is going with the new graduation requirements.

He also said the district needs to document what hardware and software it has and what its expected life span will be. He said it is important that the district continually update its technology and not fall behind.